Robert Lovin

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How would YOU shape the education system if you would have the chance?

Think forward to your CHILDRENS life, be openminded and daring.
How should we make the transition to another system, a better one?
Who might be the main actor to initiate this?
Try to imagine OUR future if our kids would learn in school about food, energy, information technology, communication, social responsability, empathy, self esteem, courage, love, etc.
What would you teach to school children?
What would you teach to undergraduates?

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    Nov 15 2011: Intial 5-10 years of education shall be dedicated for imparting behavioral, emotional and personal development education through well researched modules. Today's children are quite fast in picking textbooks complexities . Moral values shall account for 70% of initial educational years.
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      Nov 16 2011: Absolutely! But, how do we innitiate this? How can we push a public and woldwide debate on this?
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        Nov 17 2011: I think somebody from TED shall pick it up, research it, and then present it to global audience. The results of this research will take little longer.
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        Nov 17 2011: Have a squizz at the New Zealand curriculum. it's all about Key Competencies and less about chunks of knowledge.

        Unfortunately, our current government is charging backwards while the rest of the world is looking forwards. They are pushing for going back to standardised, national testing. Such a shame when politicians think they know stuff (but actually don't).
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    Nov 15 2011: Less system. More education.

    Communities governing their schools and not central government.

    A more open-ended definition of 'teacher'.

    Far less assessment and 'accountability'.
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      Nov 16 2011: Completely agree to the first part and to the last one. Only, my community is a 3 million members community. It would never work.
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    Nov 26 2011: Two things are of importance to me
    First having a system that encourages and nurtures curiosity before putting them in to text books and traditional exam system.
    Secondly ban religious studies from education system (let parents , family to take care of that)

    How ?
    Through co-ordinated effort of educators, parents, teachers to bring change in the overall system which may vary country to country as system and decision makers differs...
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    Nov 16 2011: Home-schoolers are answering this question every day. They seize the chance to shape the 'educational system' they give their children. Will this lead to good outcomes or not? That's uncertain. Any transition involves risks which are (for the most part) not foreseeable. It's probably for the best that there's no monolithic 'school system' since none of us know what kind of challenges (and necessary skills) our children -- and grandchildren -- will need in the decades to come. Having a variety of small subsystems is probably the best 'insurance' that one or more of them will prove useful in the crazy world that undoubtedly awaits them....
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      Nov 16 2011: Thank you Thomas. Where I live, there is no home-schooling, it-s against the law. There isn't a variety of subsystems either - it's a system and it is just wrong. But that's not the problem, from what I found out sorting information over the internet, there is no perfect or even good education system. It is impossible to assume that everybody is able to school its kids at home, thousands of reasons. What annoys me is that we pay taxes, education is build on this taxes and NOBODY asks us how to shape education. Ok, this is not a perfect world, but I can't live with that excuse..... It's not about me or you, it's about the future of already 7 billion humans, and counting.
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        Nov 16 2011: I wasn't aware that home-schooling was against the law where you live. It must be strange having strangers insist that they have the right to determine what your children are allowed to learn -- and bar parents from providing an education to their own offspring.
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    Nov 15 2011: I think in my country at least, education is too much focused on personal performance. The drawback is that children are focused on themselves only and not on the others.

    This has deep roots. One example: When I was at college, 30 years ago, I remarked that we never learned how to speak to an audience. We had to build presentations, sometimes with slides, but no presentation were spoken. They were read. And as what people heard was a such boring monotone reading, nobody listened.

    How can you be really open minded, be a really communicating person, if you don't learn to listen nor to speak to other people in such way that you gain attention?

    This is building lonely isolated people, more open to greed, selfishness, warriors, than compassionate, respectful and peace-makers people.
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      Nov 16 2011: You're so right Doré! In my contry, we have other problems but the outcome is the same.
      And, what then? What do we do? Any chance to make a change? Is there any movement in your country?
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        Nov 16 2011: Robert,

        You can call me Christophe ! :)

        I don't see any movement in my country. Maybe I don't look at the right place, but at least for my kids (who are 16/18) I have not seen anything really helping in this way.

        I have not thought enough to make a better answer, sorry.

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    Nov 17 2011: I would like to Scott. Can you point me a source for this? I wasn't able to find a relevant source over www.

    What you say is another big concern - I actively observe the trend for education and indeed, things are going apparently the wrong way. Not only backwards, like you show, but in completely wrong directions.....
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    Nov 17 2011: To David Hamilton -
    Wow! I could go for that, with some major adjustments, but the part where teaching goes over broadcasting has it's charms. Only, good teaching is a interactive action, at least a dialog is required, equipments to experiment or exemplify are required, and so on. On the part with home schooling, that's what bothers me. How many people do YOU know and think are capable to school their (one or more) kids. And I talk about teaching abilities, knowledge itself, time, pacience or authority and charisma. There are some who can but I believe this is a tiny minority, all others just can't. Education goes over the years, imagine yourself having to do it for your - let say - three children, different ages, day by day, for years to come.
    I can't.
    That's why "teacher" is a profession, not just like other professions but one for very skilled individuals (should at least). The problem is where to find that amount of skilled teachers, how to shape a system which has s sense - this one is a waste of time for everybody - and how to enhance teaching methods.
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      Nov 25 2011: I would merely like to instill in you a sense that if we spent enough money, and if enough brilliant teachers got involved, the broadcasting would do most of the work of the homeschooling for you, to take up a huge chunk of the burden... but I will admit it expects a lot of parents. Parents would basically be the ones trusted for the experimental assistance and hands on stuff... it's a big responsibillity.
  • Nov 16 2011: I also agree, but the majority of children in the world, as a whole, are at a low level as are their parents.
    What ever new education format is decided it should also be geared towards these children also.
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    Nov 16 2011: I'm going to get hardcore optimistic on you Robert. I'm going to suggest, that my vision for the future of education is not only beautiful and all encompassing, but it's not just possible, it will be the solution the world chooses to adapt, inevitably. An Accredited Free Public Interactive, YouTube, of education. Where all of the greatest teachers in the world compete to be the most effective in the new online medium.

    Taking tests will require a live webcam. The government will pay young adults a small wage, to watch 10 people take tests on the webcam... chech their eyes, make sure they're reading and answering, not cheating. The teachers that successfully teach hundreds of thousands of students over the years will be famous, and well paid by tax dollars. The more popular they are, and the more successfull their students are at taking tests, the more money they'll make, thus incentivizing amazing production values. Spend 5 years on an Algebra 1 class, but then gain income from it over the next 40 years... cus Algebra doesn't change much.

    These degrees, and schools, at young age, will be supplemented by home schooling parents. The school will organize local events that children can gather at, and their parents will probably force them to go... The kids are eventually going to need to meet a mate right? Unemployed adults will go back for quick lessons, to establish entry level skills for a new job.

    These degrees will be less respected than brick and mortar degrees at first, and they should be, they're free, and you get no personal attention... but they should also prove, a baseline of information for work in a specific field, and be able to land you an assistant, or trainee job, with a future. All of this should be "free", paid for by taxes... and to pay for it, we should close a few underperforming existing universities and schools.

    In your country, you basically need to go from homeschooling being illegal, to almost required...
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    Nov 16 2011: i would shape it like a circle with a fundamental core of reason and logic and the ability to test ideas and also practical things like cookery gardening washing and other things hwich one would have done during the day with your mom at home but now mom and dad are at work and do it after the kids are asleep... and i would have any circle of things outside of that chosen by parents kids and the government in conjunction so the model was pliable enough to allow for variability of subject matter and interest but the core of reason and logic and testing of ideas would filter any subject that was tought...i think that even allows for religious teaching which some people suggest should not be allowed in schools...if children have rason and logic and know the methods for testing somethings reality they can have inclusion in their societies religion as a ritual tradition but also have the power to understand that it is not nessisarily related to reality in any logical way. even the way secular subjects are taught promotes blind faith in knowing the right answwer as oposed to testing in order to form conclusions...there are different levels which the mind uses at different ages i dont know all these but i know they are well researched and it is a pity this reesearch is not applied to our schools today for obviouse reasons of keeping people at a certain level of education enough to function as workers but not to realise their full potential..
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    Nov 16 2011: Montessori.
  • Nov 15 2011: While sports are a great tool to learn team work they have also become a draw for many colleges & universities which has taken away from the main core of education. Are the tuition costs for sports or education? That needs to change.
    Colleges & universities are supposed to be for HIGHER learning not sports.
    If students just want to learn about sports then have schools set aside for only that.
    At the rate cost are going up at universities, very few will be able to afford them in future.
    Not all students are able to do math at higher levels, same goes for other fields, so test students out & then hand then a list of the fields that they could study for.
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      Nov 16 2011: I see what you mean and agree. But I avoided to include in my question anything related to higher education and I did this for a reason. My believe is that, until a human is age 16-18 (and it depends of course on every individual), a innitiative baggage of knowledge and a lot of EXPLANATION on how the world and humans on it relate to it and to each other, should be a must for the educating system. Beginning with adolescence, everybody starts to develop skills and talents and becomes able to choose what is probably right and wrong and how to cope to this world. If, at this stage, one has not enough understanding and knowledge of the world, the danger of wrong decisions is just huge. We can observe this day for day - a lot of people comes out of school after years and years of boring and useless so-cal education. And what then? Even the ones who were lucky or wealthy or just more skilled than the average, are going for a career (or whatever) but do they really go further with a solid and HEALTHY baggage of knowledge and empathy. I doubt it. And I speak about the majority, of course there are some who do, but I try to think holistic.
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    Nov 15 2011: let the child do whatever he/she wants to do. Do not disturb.
    After sometime at least 6 months we can know about the areas of their interest and then provide them platform to enhance the confidence. If one wants to become a dancer then whats the use of learning History, biology etc.
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      Nov 16 2011: Right. But when to do this? And how to make this real? My kid is legally obliged to go to school for al least 10 years. OK, she shall do it but what if this is a huge waste of time and nothing else? If I feel that way, how do you think does she feel? Kids are not stupid, they lack of information and if this situation is aggravated by the education system - oh yes - they become stupid! How should they have confidence in education and themself?
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        Nov 26 2011: Hey Robert you are Wright..... but i am not talking about the wasting of time..... I meant that there must be a system of that type in School itself. Schools are the best part of life. Schools must have all facilities like dancing, playing, singing, drawing etc. together because i feel that children can learn more things from friends. I just want to make children stress free.
        But i am still a student so may be i am not understanding the concept and may be not considering the that you must consider as a father.